Gatineau, June 14, 2010 – Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Line Beauchamp, accompanied by Minister for Transport and Minister responsible for the Outaouais region Norman MacMillan, today announced investments of more than 1.7 million dollars for the Outaouais region as part of the Programme d’acquisition de connaissances sur les eaux souterraines, Partenaires pour la nature, ClimatSol and Climat municipalities programs.
“I am pleased to announce these investments and support these projects that will enable the protection and development of the region’s environment and natural surroundings while stimulating its economic growth,” declared Minister Beauchamp.
Programme d’acquisition de connaissances sur les eaux souterraines
Minister Beauchamp first announced a grant of $776,292 to Université Laval for an underground water knowledge acquisition project. The project covers over 15 watersheds and the entire area of Outaouais municipalities, some 13,488 km2 in all. It incorporates elements that will enable qualitative and quantitative vulnerability assessment of the water supply. “And as you all know,” the Minister added,“Climate change can have an appreciable impact on the amount of available water.”
Université Laval was selected as part of a program whose objective is to acquire knowledge about underground water in Québec municipalities and to ensure that development does not compromise the supply of water required for human activity, or the integrity of ecosystems.
Partenaires pour la nature
The Minister also announced that the sum of $422,270 will go to The Nature Conservancy of Canada and Conservation de la nature - Québec for the acquisition of private land to create protected areas, voluntary conservation and nature reserves.
One of the nine projects to receive support will enable Conservation de la Nature – Québec to acquire a 43-hectare property in the Aylmer alvar, thanks to a $121,760 grant, while The Nature Conservancy of Canada receives more than $125,500 for a two-phase purchase of land bordering the Ruisseau Birch in Clarendon, which is part of the Pontiac RCM. The other projects that were unveiled today are detailed in the appended table.
These grants come from the Ministère’s public/private Partenaires pour la nature program. This initiative aims to strengthen the network of private protected areas by supporting conservation efforts made by groups, private citizens and corporations. The program also seeks to educate Québec society about the importance of protecting natural environments and has a budget of 25 million dollars over 5 years.
Gatineau will receive a ClimatSol grant in the amount of $181,467 to characterize land in the Rue Montcalm sector. These lots can then be decontaminated and transformed into space for arts and culture. The City will also receive the sum of $ 83,654 for decontamination of a plot of land on Boulevard St-Joseph in Hull, on which a commercial building that meets LEED certification standards will be constructed.
The ClimatSol program supports the rehabilitation of contaminated land within Québec municipalities as part of Québec’s sustainable development and climate change measures. Its goals are to create conditions that encourage the incorporation into development projects of elements with a real and measurable impact on the reduction or avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions and building energy efficiency.
The Minister concluded by announcing Climat municipalités grants totalling $260,000 to three municipalities in the region. L’Ange-Gardien will receive a maximum of $50,000, while Val-des-Monts will get $58,035. The amounts are over and above the $154,284 already granted to Gatineau. The investments will be used to prepare the municipalities’ first inventory of their greenhouse gas emissions and develop action plans aimed at reducing them. The Climat municipalités program stems from the 2006-2012 Climate Change Action Plan.
“Today’s announcement is excellent news for Outaouais residents. I am very proud of the participation and dialogue among the various stakeholders that made possible these projects that are of such great importance for the region,” added Minister MacMillan.
Further information about these four programs is available on the Ministère’s web site: www.mddefp.gouv.qc.ca.
- 30 -